Last year, I used Words Their Way for my 3rd graders' spelling program. There were a lot of things I did like about the program. Mostly, the way spelling patterns were systematically introduced. Due to time limits, I wasn't able to fully implement the program the way that I wanted. I only had about 30 minutes daily to teach spelling and writing to my students. Let's be realistic, there was no way to teach spelling or writing in a way that I felt like I was giving my students everything they needed (especially since they are below grade level). I did have some students who were really good spellers and that was their strength. Those students would move on weekly with the next word pattern. Then I would have other students who would need weeks on the same pattern. By the end of the year, I had students in 4 different groups, and it was a nightmare.
This summer I came across this GREAT post by Beth Newingham:
I LOVE the way she teaches and introduces the spelling patterns. I really felt like this is something that could be doable this year for me. I'm redoing how I teach reading and spelling this year. I plan on focusing on a phonics pattern a week (such as my Long A CVCe Unit). I decided that I would just focus on the phonics pattern and spelling pattern together each week.
1. This will help me save time. I can do it as part of my reading block. My students that I do not see for Language Arts will still get the same instruction but just won't have to do the spelling tests or spelling homework.
2. My students need this systematic instruction anyway and A LOT of practice in the spelling and reading of long vowel patterns.
3. I hope that this can free up some time for me to teach writing next year.
So instead of making games the last few weeks, I've been busy working on the Word Study plan for spelling. I've done the first 16 units for the year. I really liked how Beth Newingham has setup her forms and plans, so I copied her format. I hope to finish up the word lists for the rest of the year by next week (I have family coming into town this weekend). Then I plan on tackling the games and activities that will go along with each unit.
I don't know if anyone will find this useful but here is what I have come up with so far. It is pretty tedious finding the words and trying to not use the same words twice. I hope I can be done with this part soon, so I can move onto the fun stuff........making and posting games!!!
Click the picture to view my lists. It's still a work in progress and will be completely updated once I have done the lists for the whole year (updated 1/7/12).